• Taken – The hunt for Ireland’s stolen children

Taken – The hunt for Ireland’s stolen children

Issue 1074

Taken – The hunt for Ireland’s stolen children

In this week’s Big Issue

Doreen Lawrence’s strength and quiet dignity in pursuing justice for her murdered son Stephen has had a lasting impact on all who have followed and supported her. As she takes a seat in the Lords, Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon sends us an exclusive diary of her thoughts, feelings and plans. It’s an exceptional read.

Philomena Lee is another inspirational woman. She is played by Judi Dench in the story of her life about to hit cinemas. A teenage mother locked away in an Irish convent, her son was stolen from her in the mid-50s and given to an American family. Former BBC man Martin Sixsmith, who took on her story and the battle to find her son, writes for us about what happened.

Alan Bennett, in many ways Morrissey’s funnier uncle, talks smut, church crawling and being Mr Anti-establishment.

And more…

Letter To My Younger Self is with Desmond Morris. The veteran anthropologist still best known for the The Naked Ape delivers a brilliant letter, full of bright-eyed belligerence, insight and a call to never stop challenging authority when that authority is in the wrong place.

John Bird looks at what has become of mental health care in Britain. Two of our vendors, Ian Watson-Gladwish and Wayne Busst, were killed in Birmingham in January. This week a man with severe paranoid schizophrenia admitted manslaughter. John considers the legacy of the care in the community programme of the 1980s and why we need to think again.

Samira Ahmed considers offence this week – what really offends, what doesn’t and why we need to be ever watchful. The films of John Waters, Field Marshall Haig and Paxman are involved.

Elsewhere, we have vendor Andy De Gruchy from Southampton. A veteran who served in the Falklands, circumstances led to him living for a time in a tent in the New Forest.

The Build Your Vendor A Shop competition has seen the welcome addition of George Clarke to our panel. He’s excited and so are we.